My friends and I went to Atlantic City

My friends and I all went to Atlantic City a few weeks ago, and after dinner, we were hanging out at this one hotel, at night, they turn the whole pool area into this giant outdoor club. So it was pretty cool, it was early, but not too early, just early enough that there was still enough room to walk around, get a drink without having to elbow anybody out of the way.

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Anyway, I planned this whole prank out way in advance. I told my buddy Steve, I said, “OK, so we’re going to throw Kenny in the pool. Cool?” And Steve’s always down for a dumb prank like that, always. In fact, I was doing everybody a favor by actually putting some thought into this. Because if things progressed naturally, Steve would have inevitably had one too many drinks, and he would have just gone for it, I’m telling you, somebody would have been thrown in that pool.

Which, don’t get me wrong, it’s a great joke, a classic. But you have to think about cell phones. Which sucks, because before cell phones, if there was a pool, it was just assumed that someone was getting knocked in. But everybody has an eight hundred dollar computer in their pocket now, it’s not cool. So I took Steve to the side and I said, “Great, so I want you to wait until Kenny is kind of close to the edge of the pool, and then I want you to kneel behind him and try to take his cell phone out of his pocket.”

“Well what if he catches me going for it?”

“Look, I’m going to distract him. I’m going to ask him to hold my drink or something, or I’ll be handing him a drink. So he won’t notice. And even if he does notice, he won’t have any hands to do anything about it. And if he makes a move, just yank it out, all right? Because that’s when I’m going to push him.”

And Steve loved it, he was like, “Ha! That’s awesome!”

But Steve didn’t know that this was only one layer to my plan. Because my real goal was to get Steve in that pool. Remember what I said before? About Steve always doing something stupid like that? Yeah, well I wanted to give him a taste of his own medicine. And so did Kenny. And Phil. Phil got pushed in last summer. It was a mess, he had his phone in his pocket. As soon as he got out, there was a big fight over who was buying him a new phone. And this is totally crazy, but Steve, that lucky bastard, he went on some sort of a gambling tear that night. Nobody knows exactly how he did it, but he made back the money, the eight hundred, enough to buy him a new phone.

But there was definitely a lot of bad blood, especially from Phil, so he was in on this too. His job was to, right after dinner, switch Steve’s phone with this old broken iPhone I had lying around the house. That way, when Steve wound up going in the pool, he’d pull this phone out, he wouldn’t know it wasn’t the phone from his pocket, and we could watch and laugh as he freaked out, we’d say stuff like, “Don’t worry about it man, just do what you did last year, go win yourself a new phone, you’ll be good.”

So it was all set up, Steve was kneeling behind Kenny, right by the edge of the pool, and that’s when Phil came out of nowhere and kicked Steve in, hard. Only, Steve had his hand in Kenny’s pocket, and, I don’t even know how he managed to hold on, but he did, and he pulled Kenny in with him.

“Shit,” I said to Phil, because that wasn’t part of the plan. “You switched the phones though, right?”

“Fuck no,” said Phil. He wasn’t smiling. “Seriously, let him win his own phone back this year. I fucking hate Steve.”

Yeah, this definitely wasn’t going according to plan. Then two security guards came out of nowhere.

“All right guys, everybody out.”

And that sucked too, because they didn’t kick us out last year. And now here we were, everybody stuck outside the club, none of the cabs would take us back to the hotel because Kenny and Steve were soaking wet.

Kenny pulled me aside and said, “Dude, give me Steve’s good phone. Let him take the broken one.”

“Man, Phil never made the switch.”

“What switch?” That was Steve, he heard everything because Kenny was talking way too loud.

More words were exchanged. Phil and Steve almost got into a fistfight. We got back to the hotel and Steve went straight to the casino to try and win back another phone. Phil was completely belligerent and disappeared, like we didn’t see him for the rest of the weekend. Meanwhile, Kenny just kind of stood there looking at me, “So what, I’m out of a phone?”

And yeah, I felt bad. This wasn’t at all how it was supposed to go down. But couldn’t we just win the money back? I mean, Steve did it last year, it’s not impossible, right?

“How much money do have on you?” I asked Kenny.

“I don’t know, like, two? Two fifty?”

“Perfect, me too. All right, so we’ll just double it, right away, five hundred on red at a roulette table. Come on that’s enough right? And with my old broken phone, that’s got to be, what, I don’t know, fifty bucks? What’s that web site that buys broken phones?”

“You think it’s worth fifty bucks?”

“Yeah, there’s a huge secondary market for parts overseas …”

I’ll fast-forward a little bit. We got the cash. We put it on red. And it landed on one of the two greens. So they didn’t take all of the money, but they took half. I told Kenny, “Do it again, there’s no way that happens twice.”

And no, it didn’t happen again, it landed on black this time.

“Black,” the roulette lady said.

“Shit.”

“Sir, please refrain from cursing on the floor,” That was the pit boss.

I was like, “Are you guys kidding me? Why’d you all get so strict this year?”

And that was it. I told Kenny I’d give him some money, but I don’t have eight hundred bucks, and so I guess I’ll just give him like fifty bucks every week for a while, I don’t know, I don’t think it’s fair that I have to pay for the whole eight hundred, I mean, he was in on it too, and so was Phil. But nobody’s heard from Phil. Nobody’s really heard from anybody. That was like three weeks ago and nobody’s really talked at all, not except Kenny and me, and that’s strictly business, nothing but cell phone stuff. Man, I’m thinking the whole trip was a bust, I don’t know, I don’t really see how any of us moves forward from here. So that sucks, and even if we do wind up hanging out again, I definitely doubt anybody’s going to be down for AC again next year.

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